“There’s no other feeling like it.” Matt Lynch expresses. “Running, exercising...settings up goals -- scoring them.”
Final whistle after final whistle, he finds himself storming the field with the rest of the Salem State men’s soccer team, celebrating one victory after another. Lynch is a transfer student from Northern Essex Community College where he played basketball. After finishing his associate degree there, he came to Salem State as a junior with his focus on his education; however, for a three-sport athlete like himself, it was hard to keep him off the field.
Lynch comes from Plaistow, where he grew up with his father and mother, Darlene and Mike Lynch, his oldest brother Michael, and his twin sister Katee. He and his siblings attended Timberlane Regional High School and all played sports. Through his childhood and high school years he played lacrosse, soccer, and basketball. He grew a passion for basketball, before his brother introduced him to lacrosse, and his father got him into soccer.
By his senior year of high school, his love for basketball seemed to go beyond his other two sports, so he decided to take his talents to the Northern Essex basketball team, where he played for two years while studying for his degree.
After completing his studies there, he transferred to Salem State to further his education. Although his athletic career took off in basketball, his passion for soccer never seemed to dilute.
With new beginnings ahead at Salem State, he felt his passion was enough to go out for the team. With new coach, Matt Correia, some people had their doubts. Matt Correia is a die-hard soccer fanatic, and with Lynch being out of the game for some time, it was up to his retired skill and love for the sport, to earn him a spot on Correia’s team.
“He’s a tough coach, who knows his stuff”, said teammate Kevin Herrera. “So that in itself describes Lynch’s skill.”
Lynch is a team favorite judging from his teammates opinions about him. Many of them boasted about his passion, and drive, explaining how much of his heart his shown on the field.
“For a kid who’s played more than one sport at a collegiate level, he’s good. Really good.” Christian Demiranda, a senior on the team explained. “He leaves his heart on the field, whether he plays that game or not.”
Teammates of Lynch elaborate on his passion for the game, and his skill which seems like it can only get better.
Walking on to a team like this one seems almost like fate for him. The men’s soccer team went from a mediocre record last year, to being undefeated in the MASCAC this year. Simply stated, Coach Correia lead these guys to first place in their conference with no losses. For someone like Lynch, that’s not a bad first year with the Vikings.
Throughout the season, he mentions how much of his passion germinated from day to day on the field.
“I’ve been playing this sport since I was eight, to think this team has made me better and better is a good feeling.” Lynch said. “Coach puts his heart into the game, and to helping us succeed not only in the sport, but in life... incredible guy.”
With a work ethic like his, and an ever growing love for the game, Lynch doesn’t ever want to give up this sport. He also shows a lot of respect for Coach Correia and the effort he’s put into the team, and thanks him for emanating a love for the game so similar to his own.
As for Matt Lynch’s future, he plans to return to Correia’s team next fall and says he’ll never not have his first love [soccer] in his life again.